Asia Pacific Breweries has expanded further into India with a joint venture in Andhra Pradesh, the country's largest beer market.

The Singapore-based brewer, in which Heineken owns a 42% stake, today (30 June) announced a deal to build a greenfield brewery just outside Hyderabad. APB will join forces with Indian soft drinks firm, the Jaipuria Group.

APB will become the majority shareholder in the venture, named Pearl Breweries Private Limited (PBPL), with a 67% shareholding. The venture plans to build a brewery with an initial capacity of 250,000 hectolitres and to be up and running by the end of next year.

The move is APB's second foray into India in two months after it acquired a 76% stake in Aurangabad Breweries (AUBL) in May.

Koh Poh Tiong, APB chief executive, said: "It is critical that we establish a presence in the key markets of the country. Andhra Pradesh, being the fifth largest state in India, is one of the most dynamic economies locally.

"It also doubles up as the major link between the north and south of India and this makes it a highly valuable and strategic geographic location for APB to build our base there and eventually extend to the regions further afield."

Andhra Pradesh makes up some 16% of India's total beer market, which consumes just 8m hectolitres of beer a year but is growing at around 7%, according to figures released by APB.